Grassroots sports, key to Nigeria’s dominance internationally – Are
By; Jacob Onjewu Dickson, Kaduna.
In order for Nigeria to take its rightful place in sports at international competitions, there is the urgent need for a sound sports development at the grassroots, Director, Grassroots Sports Development, National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr. Ademola Are has advised.
The advice was contained in a paper titled: ‘Grassroots Sports as a Basis for Sports Development’ presented at the 2015 Kaduna Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Seminar, held at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.
“Recent practices in sports circle have tended to place much premium on elite sports and foreign based sportsmen and women, but there is an urgent need for a sound sports development at the grassroots.
“The products from the grassroots sports will be the standby generators for our sports instead of the current practice of recycling ageing sportsmen and women, grassroots sports will provide the reservoir of sportsmen and women for Nigeria,” he emphasized.
He suggested that in making the grassroots sports development realizable, there was the need to train primary and secondary schools coaches, establishment of sports academies across the country, reviving the All Nigeria Junior and Senior Open Athletics Championship and establishing collaboration between individuals and government in sponsorship of competitions.
“Multinational companies should partner with the federal, state and local government to build sports infrastructure for use by the rural and urban dwellers,” he advised, adding that physical education sports should be made compulsory in all educational institutions in the country.
Dr. Are recalled that sports in Nigeria started in different forms like traditional wrestling, hunting, fishing, swimming, ayo games, social activities and war dances.
“Sports as it is today have become global phenomena for image making, exhibition of supremacy as well as big business,” he explained.